US denies hostile intent, reiterates willingness to talk
Published : Sep 30, 2021 - 09:13
Updated : Sep 30, 2021 - 09:13
WASHINGTON -- The United States has no hostile policy and is ready to meet with North Korea without preconditions, a State Department spokesman said Wednesday, after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the US offer to engage with the North is a disguise for its hostility.

"The United States harbors no hostile intent toward the DPRK.

Our policy calls for a calibrated, practical approach that is open to and will explore diplomacy with the DPRK to make tangible progress that increases the security of the United States, our allies, and our deployed forces," a State Department spokesperson told Yonhap News Agency in an email.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.

"We are prepared to meet with the DPRK without preconditions.

We hope the DPRK will respond positively to our outreach," the spokesperson added.

The US has consistently called on North Korea to engage in dialogue since the Joe Biden administration took office in January.

North Korea has remained unresponsive to US overtures.

In a national address delivered at a parliamentary meeting Wednesday (Seoul time), the North Korean leader argued the United States' hostile policy toward his country has not changed a bit eight months after the new US administration took office, according to a report by the North's official Central News Agency.

Kim also said that the US offer for engagement and dialogue without preconditions was "no more than a petty trick for deceiving the international community and hiding its hostile acts."

Kim, however, said the North will reopen direct communication channels with South Korea early next month.

The State Department official said the US supports inter-Korean dialogue.

"We strongly support inter-Korean cooperation and believe it plays an important component in creating a more stable environment on the Korean Peninsula," the official said.

North Korea had reopened its cross-border channels with South Korea in late July, about 13 months after it had unilaterally severed them but only to terminate them again about two weeks later in August in protest against Seoul's regular joint military exercise with South Korea that month.

North Korean ambassador to the United Nations, Kim Song, last week urged the US to permanently halt its joint military exercises with South Korea if it wished to improve ties with his country. (Yonhap)